The cookie settings on this website are set to 'allow all cookies' to give you the very best experience. Please click 'Ok' to hide this message.

How to Build a Pond this Weekend - Expert Tips & Tricks

26th Jun 2024

Copyright © 2024 Bradshaws Direct

How To Build a Pond - Expert Tips & Tricks

Creating your own garden pond is an excellent way to attract new wildlife to your garden, from birds to newts, but there are a few things to consider before you get the water ready.

Here we’ll go through the quickest and easiest way to build a pond, big or small, with our tips and tricks to make things simple.

What you'll Need to build a pond:

  • Pond liner
  • Pond underlay
  • Soft sand (to cover the bottom of the hole)
  • Edging materials (think rocks, paving slabs, spare bricks if you’re desperate)
  • A spade
  • A spirit level  

And of course - 

Your choice of beverage for during and after the digging!

First step - picking a spot

If you’re here then you already have an idea of where your pond is going, but if not don’t worry! Anywhere it will fit is the basic answer, but some areas are better than others.

It can seem like a good idea to put your pond in the boggy section of the garden (water likes water, right?) but this is best avoided. As ground water rises, the pond liner can be lifted out, so a dry area of your garden is actually a better choice.

If you want to attract wildlife, then we recommend a warm, sunny area of the garden if possible. Tadpoles, dragonflies and pond plants will all thrive with a bit of light.

Top Tip: Don’t just start digging. Mark out your pond with a hosepipe or sand on the grass before you start digging.

This way you can make sure it looks good from all angles (including the view from your upstairs window, because you will want to stare at it on a rainy day, trust us). It is also important to check you can get around the pond to trim hedges and maintain fences. 

See more about location on our blog...

How to Dig a Pond

It might seem simple - but digging the hole is hard work, so if you have someone you can trick into helping now is the time. Ensure the sides are level as you dig by laying the wooden plank over sections of the hole with the spirt level on top.

Top tip: you can use some of the left-over soil to make trenches and shallow areas. This is especially important if you’re planning on adding fish to your pond, a bit of variety provides easy hiding places and shelving for plants. 

Using an Underlay for Your Pond

This is where a lot of people go wrong by adding the underlay immediately after they’ve made the space for it. Instead, take that extra precaution and cover the bottom of your hole with 1" (2.5cm) of soft sand to protect the liner from sharp stones. There’s nothing worse than realising your pond has sprung a leak, so don’t get lazy with this step! Cover flat shelves and the sides too if they are not too steep.

Now you can put your underlay in. Pond underlay usually comes in sheets or on a roll, it doesn't have to be in one piece, you can just overlap the pieces a bit.

Top Tip: Use parcel tape or fixing tape to stop the pond underlay from sliding around.

Adding the Pond Liner

Now it’s time to add your pond liner. Depending on the shape of the pond, you may need to fold the corners in. It will be easier to do this as the pond starts to fill up.

Top tip: take your shoes and socks off and get in to add the pond liner, we promise it makes things easier.

Once the liner is full, leave it for a couple of days before edging. Take a look at our edging ideas below for ways to make this the best you can.

Edging Ideas:

How to Fill a New Pond with Water

If you’re filling a large pond, you’ll probably have to use the hosepipe. If it’s smaller or you just happen own twenty water butts (why?), we recommend using rainwater to fill your pond when you can. Rainwater is better for any plants or fish you’ll be adding later. If this isn’t possible and you are using the hosepipe, don’t worry - just be sure to let the water stand for a few days before adding anything alive.

Top tip: Filling a pond with water can take longer than you think. If you’ve layered the bottom with pebbles or sand, then rest the nozzle of the hosepipe on top of a plastic bag to limit any dirt dispersing.

Final Step: Pond Decorating

Now comes the fun part. The subject of adding decorative edging, water features, plants and fish could be several articles on their own, but we’ll cover the basics here so you know where to start.

Plants can be introduced to your pond 2-3 days after adding the water. We recommend native species to help support wildlife.

Place stones, logs and plants around the edges of your pond to create friendly habitats for pond-visiting wildlife.

Top tip: add a ramp using rocks or a plank of wood to give animals an escape from your pond. From creatures looking to have a drink who might fall in, to frogs who are looking for a place to congregate.

Water features are also highly recommended. Sure, we’re a little biased, but nothing quite beats getting that babbling creek sound in your own garden. You may need to use slabs to prop your water features up for a bit of added height. Read more about adding water features to ponds here or start getting the tools you need to build your pond here.

If you have any questions you can always give us a call on 01904 691169 and we'll be happy to help. We also have several blog articles all about putting in a pond too:

Pond Designs...

Pond Location...

Waterfalls and Streams...

Fountain pumps...

Filter Pumps...

It's easy to order through our website, but if you would rather speak to someone just give us a call on 01904 698802 and we will be happy to take your order.

Bradshaws Direct is a trading name of Tarpaulins Direct Ltd and is registered in England and Wales.
Company No. 6444238 and VAT Registration GB923386809.

Registered office address: Bradshaws Direct, James Nicolson Link, Clifton Moor, York, YO30 4XX.

Copyright © 2024 Bradshaws Direct All Right Reserved